Animated Atmosphere by Nora Graw



German architecture graduate Nora Graw has sent us these images of her diploma project for the film industry, located on the waterfront in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Called Animated Atmosphere, the project was completed while Graw was studying at Studio Lynn, an architecture course run by American architect Greg Lynn at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria.


The building contains cinemas and exhibition spaces for public events alongside offices designed for small businesses involved in the film industry.


The information below is from Graw:


Conventional films are restricted in physical conditions of the film set, or collage an artificial surrounding to suggest the wanted atmosphere and aesthetic. Animated films create an abstract world that mimics qualities of the physical that are extracted and exaggerated in animated films, where characteristics are adopted to create an environment that through its aesthetic creates an all-around coulisse. The goal is to create an environment for this profession with characteristics of the coulisse, layering of scenes and interconnecting various stage settings to take part in the ‘real world’.


My goal was to create surfaces with imprinted conditions (structure, ornament, shading,...) that transform continuously through blending and superimposing specific surface information to create a diverse set of scenes and creating spatial depth with strong perspectives. I am interested in a cohesive exterior with an iconic image and a multilayered permeable interior. The layers merge and separate to reveal different surface qualities and organize space.


The newly developing district Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires, Argentina, gives the opportunity to integrate a contemporary architectural design and form an identity for the emerging district. Located on the waterfront of the old port the facade and silhouette of the building impacts the skyline of the district seen from the old town.


The idea of multiple unique offices sharing and represented in a corporate building triggers the discourse of the relation of the exterior appearance to interior facades. The upcoming designers are represented as a collective identity to the exterior and still show their uniqueness in a spatial complexity on the interior.


The building hosts large volumes as movie screening, exhibition and entertaining facilities acting as a programmatic attractor for the public, which will in turn highlight the smaller businesses and give insight into the movie making industry. Spatial programmatic elements such as combinable offices + conference room and editing facilities + server room provide opportunities for a rigorous organization in solid clusters. These solids nest in a fabric of layers that host programmatic related spaces.


Posted on Saturday February 14th 2009 at 5:07 pm by Rachael Sykes. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • splendid project,
    more than a renderd image this project depicts new paradigms without copying any style!

  • As long as it would keep out the rain and could be built on a budget…any budget…I love it. Seems more fitting to an outdoor exhibition hall though; unless Ms. Graw has a superhuman grasp of thermodynamics she has yet to share with us.

  • vic

    that sounds personal

  • gonzo

    dezeen, if you publish this rather average student project, you should also show us the x-hundret better ones of this year from all the other universities

  • lecorbusier

    3D H! Where is Per Correl when you need him?

  • Nathan

    I am very impressed. Beautiful work. Maybe now dezeen readers can stop referring to ‘student work’ as such a bad thing.

  • Anonymous


  • Ali

    Beautifully put together, very elegant. The budget comments are irrelevant, especially within the context of student project- well done.

  • I love it! reminds me of the paper cutout decorations kids are making for the holidays.

  • gaque

    These comments are so useless! If you can only say “I love it, it’s great, etc” then at least provide the reasons why you find it good!!

    For example, I find the plans rather well considered, and it’s because floor has a bit different layout, although consistent. The staircases seems to be well placed too. The birds in the elevations a bit goofy ; )

    What disappoints me is the materiality. It seems so many projects are that very interesting in terms of shape are just as boring in terms of materials. It’s fun to contort things on the computer, but what is it really made of? Is it cast like concrete, is it milled CNC plastic, is it laser cut and assembled wood? At least some basic idea of the material would help projects like these a lot. Some information on how the model was built would imply those details…

  • R

    The first two images totally lack any spatial quality. There are so many curves that there is no coherent image, spatial direction or form: just a collection of curves. Very dull.

    Interestingly, the 2D drawings – floor plans, cross sections and facades – show more quality than the complete useless renderings in the beginning.

  • krinstian

    its assembled by a 90 meter cnc mill and set together 1:1 scale in a white non-haptic bogus material….

  • brown_ie

    …I like very much, but gaque is right..more materiality and less abstraction on the project, in order to take it in another level more than a render or an experimental design….it would be more complete

  • Mario Furčić

    projects like this (example, zaha hadid) have a very contemporary arch.language used outside, but interiors are always a problem. look at the rendering of the interior, what is that?

  • AAB

    It’s…Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious because it is super- “above”, cali- “beauty”, fragilistic- “delicate”, expiali- “to atone”, and docious- “educable”, with the sum of these parts signifying roughly “Atoning for educability through delicate beauty. ;)

  • ja

    gaque, its only a comment, if someone likes something they don’t have to say everything that they like. maybe some of us dont want to hear everything that you like..

    and some of the people who visit dezeen don’t know anything about architecture, that doesn’t mean they dont have a valid opinion.

  • Is architecture about the form or function, our visual culture creates the pain of the future.

  • Ali

    It seems to me that many of you who are hung up on materiality and-or other technical items (i.e. thermodiynamics- which is not even an architectural concern) probably do not have much experience in putting together a real building. It takes at least a year to substancially put togehter a building this complex, and the “thermodynamics” etc. are figured out based on design concerns along the way. This is clearly a concept design, since its a student project. And about materiality, materiality is a priority for some people, and it’s not for others. Many offices I worked in choose the materials based on many different factors, suich as cost climate availablilty etc. down the line. SO It is aboslutely ridiculous for some of you to bash a student project on irrelevant criteria. It reveals your ignorance and lack of experience about the process of getting something built. Lighten up people.

  • j

    Some information on how the model was built would imply those details…

    At a guess…

    A cuboid form was made in Rhino and hollowed out.
    Then this was arbitrarily deformed.
    Then a script was run to turn this into the criss-crossing structure.

  • Work of a genius. Work like this deserved an investment. Sad to see as a mere exercise

  • aldo

    Im from Buenos Aires, and I dont think this building has anything to do with the city it is ment for… nor the area in which it is placed…

  • gaque

    of course thermodynamics is an architectural concern! are you insane!?

  • gaque

    Please stop Ali, you’re revealing my ignorance to everybody…!

    every opinion is valid, of course. but if it’s just a matter of “i like it” or “i dont,” then why dont we just do polls…forgot about comments.

    as for criticism, if its well-thought out, then im sure ms. graw wouldnt mind it.

  • Jacques Herzog

    Ali – in which offices have you ‘worked’ to get your wealth of construction experience? Please let me know – we can still make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else…

  • i man

    I’m still wondering what software that Graw used,is it catia?rhino?3d max?..
    and the model looks nearly exact to the render one..
    ..well Graw, good exploration in design, keep it up!

  • bauster

    sure it’s a student dipoma, but that doesn’t matter;
    what matters really is the missing context; why buenos aires, where about there, why this form? just to stage a project like this in south america doen’t provide it with anything special about it from the beginning! does it fit there? why this shreded facade? is it convenient? is it logic?
    the plans and sections arre really more informative than the cheesy renderings…
    and the problem with this kind of architecture is.. don’t we need stairs and walls for any kind of building anymore.. hey weke up. all this open and flowing and twisting architecture without definite spaces is complete bogus..
    right there the critics mentioning thermodynamics put the thumb down.
    to sum up: as an open pavillon it should do very well, but for a functioning building, just no..all in all its a nice form but unnecessary for the chosen site of buenos aires. did we ever hear about a flourishing animation movie scene????

  • Sub_Prime

    I hope that Dezeen will keep publishing student projects online, but I wish they would stop showing student projects of the same character. Recently we had a “museum” by Eliot White of the Pratt Institute and now we have this similarly asexual and pointless “Animated Atmosphere” for the film industry. These two projects are literally hollow shells and have little to offer the profession except as aq benchmark of how not to do things. Why when there are many students out there producing ORIGINAL and RELEVANT work does Dezeen place emphasis on the same generic projects?. Please look beyond the initial renders to find and publish work that has real some depth and meaning (and perhaps some idea of a budget)

    However, I do have to give points to Dezeen for kick-starting this little debate about the current validity of student work…

  • betuwill

    obviously the building is not resolved in many ways,…but how sad would it be if a thesis project would set itself as a goal to produce feasible architecture (did soemone mention budget??? jesus!!!),..instead of exploring a more intuitivly driven approach,…to effect, or a certain athmosphere…”the new”….i think this project achieves this goal in a really successfull way,…the skin beeing dissolved in a gradient way, suggesting beeing structural trough an intersecting pattern,..nesting of programs,…thumbs up N.

  • Erfan

    Very good job.

  • Boppie

    I’m getting a bit bored of the computer projects. I have a feeling this is coming to an end.
    It misses the strength of having a form, this doesn’t have a form. It’s just made.
    Indeed, I can’t see in the building why it has this form and why it is mentioned it is in Buenos Aires on this specific location(except for giving the location an ‘identity’, which I believe it already has). But that could be because we miss the whole story.
    Beautifull presentation drawings though.

    By the way, budget shouldn’t be an issue in a graduation project. That’ll come in real life. First you need to develop in conceptual, construction and material design matters.

  • Juma

    You have a feeling this is coming to an end? Wha? Go back to the stone ages you Neanderthal!

  • Alexis Garrido

    Amazing work! This is work of a genius I will really like to see this project in real life and amaze all the people that can see it. Incredible.